soccerDo you ever ask yourself how far you'd go to make your child's dreams come true? Think about that while you read this story. A mom named Hiroyo Klink was in the stands at her 17-year-old son's championship soccer game when she suffered a stroke. She knew she was slipping away, but she insisted that no one tell her boy that she was dying.

Leo Klink ended up winning the state championship for his high school team that day. He scored all three goals for Kalani.

His mom died two days later but not before she'd heard from her husband that her son had won the game.

It's one of the most bittersweet stories I think I've ever read. Here this mom had to decide in moments what was more important to her: letting her son have his moment or having those last few moments with him by her side.

Could you decide? Even now, sitting here, healthy and safe?

I can't. But these are the questions every mother asks herself every day, isn't it, albeit with less extremes on the line? Do we put their needs first or our own?

How many times have you heard that motherhood is about sacrifice? Sacrificing our bodies. Sacrificing sleep. Sacrificing Thursday nights for soccer practice. Will it ever end?

Some days I feel more selfish than others. I just want her to stay in her bed so I can get some sleep! I just want her to choose between milk or orange juice so I can sit down and eat my dinner!

And then stories like these crop up and I feel ungrateful and pathetic. So I have to wait five minutes to shovel some mashed potatoes and peas in my mouth? Really? That's what I'm complaining about? Hiroyo Klink would have loved those five minutes with her son.

As movie director Peter Hedges reminded me in an interview awhile back when his movie Odd Life of Timothy Green was coming out, we don't own our children, they own us.

It's an important distinction, one that's easy to forget. Hiroyo Klink may have wanted her son by her side, and I don't think anyone would have blamed her for that. But her sacrifice was so powerful because she got it. She got that her son was a person, separate from her. She could have demanded they go get him off the field, but she allowed him to be his own person on that field.

We don't get to choose how we get our time with our kids. Some of it, yes, but most of the moments are guided by our children, by the little people who spend five minutes choosing the blue cup or the red cup. We just have to remember to appreciate them.

What's the biggest sacrifice you've made for your child?

 

Image via thebuffafamily/Flickr